If you're not tracking your podcast statistics, you're doing it wrong. By monitoring your total downloads, episode consumption rates and other important data, you’ll be able to monitor the success of your show and make necessary adjustments to keep your audience hooked. Here are the most important metrics to track as a podcaster.
Did you know that there are approx 455,458 active podcasts? And that number is only growing! If you're one of the many podcasters out there, it's important to track your podcast stats in order to gauge how well your show is doing. By monitoring downloads, episode listens, and other key data points, you can make necessary adjustments to keep your audience hooked. Keep reading for more information on podcast metrics and how to track them!
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Which metrics you should track for your show
- Where you can find the data
- How you can use that data to grow your show and better serve your audience
TUNE IN TO THE EPISODE
What podcast stats should you track?
In this blog post, I will share the metrics that I track for my clients every month and for this podcast. There are approx ten different metrics that I recommend you look at at least once a month.
- Download numbers (7 day, 30 day and 90 day)
- Number of ratings and reviews
- Top 3 episodes
- All-time downloads per month
- Audience demographics
- Average episode consumption rate
- Total number of listeners
- Number of listeners per episode
- Apps and devices used to listen
- Website traffic
Let’s delve into a few of these metrics a little deeper. I recommend scheduling an hour every month to do this although some of the metrics are best looked at on a quarterly basis, as well as annually.
You'll want to track your 30-day episode downloads specifically as this will help you to identify which topics are resonating with your listeners so that you can give them more of the content they love.
Ratings and reviews
As you may know, the more ratings and reviews you have the more likely you are to attract more listeners as it signals to the podcast directory algorithms that your show is doing well. In turn, they will make your podcast visible to more people. Many podcasters will use their outro to ask their listeners to leave a rating or review on their favourite podcast player app. Once you’ve been podcasting a while and have received maybe 15 - 20 reviews, it might be that you focus on using a different call to action in your outro. Instead of asking for reviews, perhaps you invite them to join your Facebook community or subscribe to your newsletter. Tracking this data is handy particularly if you have a goal of increasing audience engagement. You could tie in engagement with your promo posts on social media and your email list, including comments and reshares.
Top 3 episodes
Are the top three episodes the same or do they change? What do these episodes have in common? Are they all guest interviews, of a similar topic? What are the commonalities? It’s worth digging into this one every quarter or when you’re planning your next season.
All time downloads per month
This is a good one to monitor to see whether your show is growing month on month. I don’t want you to get obsessed by this stat, as many podcasters do. Use the data to inform your podcast growth strategy. As a standalone, I’m afraid it’s just a vanity metric. Even if you’re growing but small numbers every month, it means you’re doing something right!
This metric is particularly helpful as it could provide new opportunities to market your show. For example, if you’re a local podcast and your data shows that a significant amount of your audience is in a certain city, you could host an event for your listeners. Or maybe even appear on local radio. Get creative with this one and be open to the possibilities.
Average episode consumption rate
This stat refers to how much of your episodes your listeners are tuning in for. It’s been said (somewhere that I can’t recall) that a good consumption rate is around 80%. How does your consumption rate compare to this? Is it around 70%, 75%? If so, well done! That’s a good indication that your listeners are enjoying your episodes. Is it much lower? If so, why is this? Are your episodes too long? Try to identify the pattern. Maybe even carry out a listener survey to get feedback from your audience. Don’t be discouraged though. This data means that you can test and experiment so you’re serving your listeners better.
Average listening time
This metric is pretty key as it will help you understand your audience’s listening habits. Knowing the average listening time for each episode will help you understand the ideal length your episodes need to be to keep your audience engaged. For example, if your episodes are 40 - 45 minutes long but your average listening time is 20 - 25 minutes, this clearly indicates that 45 minutes is too long for your listeners and you should make adjustments. You don’t want them only listening to half of an episode - they'll be missing out on so much value!
Listens by source
Understanding where your listeners are tuning in to your show will help you to grow your show. For example, if most of your listeners tune in on Spotify, you could run an ad campaign on that platform to grow your listenership.
Having a website for your podcast is an absolute must-have. Especially if you are podcasting for business, at a minimum you should have a podcast page on your business website, to attract new listeners and possibly clients.
There are two things you could do to track data for this metric.
- Use a trackable URL in your episode description for the show notes or even an opt-in. This allows you to see how many people are clicking through to your website.
- Optimise your show notes on your website so that you can attract new listeners via Google. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are great tools to help you with this.
Tracking this data will tell you which episodes your listeners enjoy most so you can come up with content ideas for those topics.
How to check your podcast analytics
There are three places I recommend you look.
Number 1: Your hosting platform. Even if you’re on the lowest plan with your host, basis stats should be included as standard. This will be sufficient for you. If you do want more in depth stats however you can choose to upgrade your plan.
Number 2: Podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Each directory has separate dashboards that allow you to access the stats for your show. If you haven’t created an account with these directories yet, please use the links in the resources section to do so.
Number 3: Third-party apps i.e. Chartable
Chartable is an online tool providing podcast analytics to podcasters. I use the Chartable free plan for my own podcast as well as my clients. Their analytics are IAB certified (check out last week’s episode for more on what IAB means) which means they’re more accurate. They offer both a free and paid plan. I recommend starting with the free plan and if there are features in the paid plan, which starts from $10 per month, you can always upgrade. One of those paid features is something called Smart Links. It’s essentially a link to your podcast that you can share online and it will automatically send the person to their favourite podcast player app. So if they’re a TuneIn user, the link will send them directly to that app, which I think is pretty cool.
Every Monday, you will receive an email with your most recent chart rankings from your home country and other countries as well. This is something that’s always nice to see at the start of the week and I love to share these wins with my clients.
If you haven’t signed up for Chartable as yet, I highly recommend that you do. It’s really easy to get started. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be able to track your reviews, ratings, chart rankings and so much more. Check out the link in the resources section so you can get started with your free account.
Why should you be tracking this data? Why does it matter?
It matters because the data will inform you about how well your show is performing, specifically, whether it is growing.
If you’re using your podcast as part of your business's marketing strategy, I’m sure you will want to know whether what you’re doing is working (or not). Your podcast stats give you the opportunity to dig deep and uncover what’s resonating with your audience so that you can create more of the content that your listeners love. Give them what they want to hear and you’ll have loyal fans for life.
If you’re struggling with knowing where to even begin creating your own podcast analytics tracker, check out my Podcast Stats Tracker.
Your podcast metrics are a great way to track your progress and see where you can improve. However, it's important to use the right metrics in order to get accurate information, not just focus on download numbers.. Which of these metrics do you currently track? Are they the ones that will help you grow your show and better serve your audience? We hope this article has helped give you some ideas on which metrics to start tracking so that you can continue making amazing content for your listeners.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Connect with Rosemarie
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